Chicago mom carpool: Down with the van


 
 

By Melissa Haak

Peanut Butter in my Hair
 

I am blessed enough to be a stay-at-home mom, otherwise known as a SAHM.

 

We are only one week into school. After school activities haven’t started. Preschool hasn’t started. No one has (knock on wood) gotten sick yet and I am already tired of my van. Really, my acronym should be SIVM or stay-in-van-mom. Add to this weariness the fact that every major roadway, including my street, is under construction and I am seriously considering becoming a hermit. I mean I can get just about everything we need to survive delivered right?

 

mel1

 

Sigh. The need for social skills and enrichment, they haven’t been proven overrated yet? Maybe they could make it easier on us poor SIVMs. You know, make it an experience? My center console is currently home to DVDs for desperate times and approximately 235,435 discarded rubber bands, barrettes and headbands as well as receipts, hidden happy meal toys and whatever other junk needs to be hidden. It would be put to much better use if it had a built in Keurig for refills on the road. With the construction between my house and school, I almost always run out of coffee before I’m able to get out of the van.

 

How about a built-in Siri-like mate? Press a button and the car can answer the seven million questions I need to field before I even leave my driveway. While Miss Minivan explains to the toddler how the train is moving, tells the big kid the density of praying mantises in our area and sings a duet of “Let it Go,” I could be happily in my own head. Even better let’s put a partition between mom and the kids, like a taxi!

 

I jest.

 

While I do loathe the amount of time I spend sitting in current dusty construction traffic, the conversations I get to be part of, either directly or indirectly, are priceless. I get glimpse of the inner workings of my childrens’ brains and how they see the world and how they interact with their friends. For example when we were carpooling to school the other morning with Hyacynth’s son, he and my daughter had an insightful conversation about where the man riding the motorcycle behind us may be going. Every option - work or home near our school - was discussed. My favorite was the decision that he must be going to Dunkin’ Donuts because “He looks like a guy that can use a chocolate doughnut.”

 

My oldest who gets to ride in the front for the first time during these mornings gets a chance to open up about his new classroom, his teacher or berate me about my praying mantis knowledge which is woefully lacking (my college entomology professor would be sad - Sorry, Dr. Good!).

 

These are the moments I would miss out on if I was able to have a tricked out custom van or a bus to pick them up. So while I mutter about the fifth re-route of the morning, I will remind myself that construction season is long but childhoods are short and I will enjoy it, mostly, while I can. I might start bringing two mugs of coffee though.

 

mel2

 

 
 







 
 
 
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